Sunday, August 10, 2003

Reaping the Benefits of Capitalism, 2

Thanks to Al Barger for highlighting this site for my comments on the wonders of the low prices of gasoline. The exercise had me looking around my car for other benefits I've enjoyed.

My first car was a whiz-yellow 1979 Ford LTD. Here's a pic of a four-door model. Mine was a two-door. It had a V-8 302 engine, that was smallish by the V-8 standards of the day, and positively huge by today's standards. The car was wonderfully huge. I regularly drove six to school, plus myself, all in comfort!

That car blew Engine Number One after 35,000 miles. The timing belt snapped after about 48,000 miles. Engine Number Two blew after 70,000 miles. I sold the car at that point in sheer frustration.

The 1997 Saturn SL2 I drive was the first car I purchased new from a dealer. I bought it in March of that year. I have driven it on several road trips, including a Cleveland-Cochrane, Ontario jaunt, and a Cleveland-New York City-Sept Iles, Quebec trip. I turned 129,000 this afternoon on the way back from Cle to Indianapolis, the twelth time I have done the 660 mile round trip this year.

Major repairs to date? I've replaced two rotors, two sets of tires, brakes on all four wheels, and a serpentine belt. These are the MAJOR repairs. My uncle broke a seat belt receptacle, and I've replaced the tail lights and windshield wipers.

That's it.

The amazing thing: Both cars had the same sticker price at the time of purchase: $14,000.

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